San Antonio's Holiday Bucket List

Published On 12/21/2016 Published On 12/21/2016
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Earl Abel's Restaurant
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1. Earl Abel's 1201 Austin Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78209 (Alamo Heights)

Although the original depression-era diner closed years ago, the relatively new Earl Abel’s is still a retro-feeling diner for low country comfort foods even though it doesn’t reside in the same location. It’s the type of place where everyone falls under the category of “folks” and Chicken Fried Steak is king, but it has added a few things to its menu that might surprise the regulars that have known Earl Abel’s for its succulent, crispy fried chicken and heavenly homemade soups for decades. Not only does Earl's grind its own chuck in-house for the fat, juicy Angus burgers, but it also features specialty patties like Kobe beef and Texas bison. No matter what, they're served with homemade chips… but if you ask us, substitute those for the fried pickles.

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2. Tellez Tamales & Barbacoa 1737 S General McMullen Dr, San Antonio, TX 78237

Tellez is San Antonio’s worst kept secret for heaping, homemade stuffed tamales. The chicken and pork fillings are savory, tangy, and well-balanced, but the fan-favorite is the Jalapeño Pork that adds a tolerable kick to the corn-based Latin American delicacy. You can also order breakfast tacos (made with fresh tortillas), lunch plates that range from tamales to enchiladas, and barbacoa (tender barbecue-style beef) by the pint. Locals know you don’t come for the atmosphere... the red plastic tables are crammed amongst the hordes of drooling customers between the white cinderblock walls of this cafeteria-esque locale. Pro-tip: call and order ahead so you don’t have to wait in the perpetually long line.